New Statesman
20h22 13  janvier
Anneliese Dodds’ Mais Lecture articulates Labour’s new approach on economics
Stephen Bush
The shadow chancellor’s lecture had something old, something new, and something green. When last January I spoke to a host of former and current Treasury officials and advisers about the criteria for the role of shadow chancellor, and asked them to name possible candidates, Dodds was one of...
18h18 13  janvier
How Egypt’s authoritarianism is harming its Covid response
Ruth Michaelson
The Egyptian government seems more interested in suppressing negative coverage and maintaining the illusion of control than tackling the country’s healthcare crisis. A camera pans around a hospital ward, showing unmoving bodies atop hospital beds. They’re all dead, says the man shooting the...
18h15 13  janvier
The US has been quietly preparing for a huge expansion in wind power
Anonymous
As the cost of offshore wind power has been driven down by Europe and China, companies in the US are planning enough capacity to power millions of homes. Americans owe Europe a thank you. Two decades ago, Germany’s new renewable energy feed-in tariff stimulated the market for rooftop solar...
18h00 13  janvier
Does vitamin D really help combat Covid-19?
Stuart Ritchie
Until there is firm scientific evidence we should avoid overblown claims about near-magical substances. If there’s one thing you can rely on in this pandemic, it’s this: at least once a month there’ll be a new article in the media arguing that vitamin D helps prevent Covid-19. The case is...
18h00 13  janvier
How the right claimed liberty and made it a toxic word
Anonymous
Defending civil liberties was once a defining principle of the left, so why has the term been co-opted to mean unbridled individualism? The frequent appeals to personal liberty made by anti-maskers and lockdown sceptics make a depressing addition to the Covid debate for anyone on the left...
18h00 13  janvier
American fascism is a deadly threat - it must be confronted now
Paul Mason
The US could yet fall apart under the strain of its structural racism and the dysfunctionality of its capitalism. Like grease from an old stove, the Nazis of the US are suddenly getting scoured off social media. Donald Trump’s Twitter account is gone. Parler has been scrubbed from the Amazon...
17h56 13  janvier
NS Recommends: new books from Rebecca Watson, Ben Machell, Torrey Peters and Eddie S Glaude Jr
New Statesman
Watson’s Little Scratch, Machell’s The Unusual Suspect, Peters’ Detransition, Baby and S Glaude Jr’s Begin Again. Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson This debut novel is strikingly experimental, but reading it feels completely natural. Watson narrates a single day in the mind of a...
17h54 13  janvier
BBC Radio 4’s Bodies explores the human form throughout history
Anna Leszkiewicz
Presenter and anatomist Alice Roberts describes the series as a time-travelling tour of how anatomical knowledge has changed . Today, we know a lot about our own bodies, and we take that knowledge for granted. I have always known that my brain is where my cognitive functions happen...
17h52 13  janvier
ITV’s true crime drama The Pembrokeshire Murders is a story of meticulousness and hard work
Rachel Cooke
Its excitements lay not in revisiting John Cooper’s inexplicably horrible crimes, but in building a case, bit by bit, against the clock. True crime can be so cheap: voyeuristic, cruel and ultimately futile. Some things are beyond comprehension, no matter what those involved might say about...
17h50 13  janvier
The fabric of nature
Michael Prodger
It was tapestry, not landscape painting, that first brought the outdoors indoors. Long before there were landscape paintings to hang on the wall, the bucolic had already crept inside. Anglo-Saxon homes are recorded as having been hung with wah hrà gel or wah rift - wall coverings - and...
17h48 13  janvier
Max Porter’s The Death of Francis Bacon: a novelist takes on the painter’s final days
Johanna Thomas-Corr
Porter’s tribute to Bacon is a short work, dense with allusions, somewhere between a prose-poem and a play script. Francis Bacon was very particular about the way his works were displayed. He chose theatrical gold frames and decreed that the paintings themselves - the brushwork that slips,...
17h45 13  janvier
Making Ma Rainey
Anonymous
She changed popular music forever, but the Mother of the Blues is not the household name she deserves to be. Netflix’s recent star-studded release, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, adapted from the Pulitzer-winning dramatist August Wilson’s 1982 play, brings one of the US’s first professional...
17h43 13  janvier
Ramachandra Guha’s The Commonwealth of Cricket: a delightful sporting memoir
Soumya Bhattacharya
Guha, one of India’s best-known historians and public intellectuals, is a bona fide cricket obsessive. Early on in this delightful memoir, Ramachandra Guha recounts the first time he shook hands with a Test cricketer. It was the summer of 1970 and Guha was 12 years old at the time. The...
17h42 13  janvier
How Augustus rebuilt Rome
Tom Holland
Why the age of Augustus still transfixes us. The collapse of the Roman republic, and the establishment amid its rubble of the rule of the Caesars, constitutes the primal political narrative of the West. In 49 BC, a system of government founded on the conviction that the only conceivable...
17h28 13  janvier
This England: Out on a limb
New Statesman
This column - which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s Richard II , refers to the whole of Britain - has run in the NS since 1934. Out on a limb Fans of HG Wells have expressed annoyance at a new commemorative 2 coin honouring the author. The coin features a Martian machine from...
17h22 13  janvier
After shielding all year, two of my patients were put at risk by a tiny lapse at Christmas
Phil Whitaker
The race to provide Covid-19 protection is on, but halting. The vulnerable will need to maintain their guard for a good while yet. Frank rang, concerned about his wife. She’s coming out with some very strange things, he told me. Sometimes she doesn’t even know where she is. How long’s...
17h21 13  janvier
Subscriber of the week: Mark Hubble
New Statesman
Email emily.bootle newstatesman.co.uk if you would like to be the New Statesman’s Subscriber of the Week. What do you do? Retired social care provider. Where do you live? Just outside Norwich. Do you vote? Always. How long have you been a subscriber? Six years, maybe longer. ...
17h16 13  janvier
Carlo Rovelli Q&A: I am a very slow thinker with zero memory
New Statesman
The theoretical physicist on the political ideals of Alexander Bogdanov and why he would fail if he competed in Mastermind. Carlo Rovelli was born in Italy in 1956. He was politically active as a student and detained in 1987 for refusing military service. He is a theoretical physicist and...
17h12 13  janvier
Let me describe the flat in which I will be spending lockdown... it won’t take long
Nicholas Lezard
The view from the window is of much nicer houses opposite - or would be if the glass weren’t, in winter, permanently dripping with condensation. And so the new lockdown begins. Once more, the radical change to the lifestyle of your columnist. Staying in all day becoming a virtue again, rather...
17h07 13  janvier
The New Year we long for is the one in which the virus no longer dominates our lives
Tracey Thorn
As fireworks lit up London’s skyline, I thought of us all in the city below watching from our separate spaces. New Year’s Eve has never been my favourite night of the year. When I was young I remember wanting something transformative to happen - a wildly attractive stranger A life...
16h57 13  janvier
Winemakers, like artists and musicians, know how to wring something bright from murky times
Nina Caplan
Every cloud has a silver lining, and Hungarian Furmint is something we can all enjoy. Before I found Furmint, the Hungarians I loved were mostly monochrome photographers. Perhaps because their language relates to no other in Europe (except, faintly, to Finnish), many émigrés took up cameras...
16h54 13  janvier
First Thoughts: Platforms as publishers, UK Covid deaths and the radical history of Essex
Peter Wilby
The argument for making Twitter and other social media sites accountable for their content is compelling - and the solution could be charging users to post. It is all very well for Twitter to ban Donald Trump after years of profiting from the millions of eyes drawn towards his frequently...
16h45 13  janvier
What does it mean to be a black man in Britain? : Courttia Newland on his latest novel and the struggle to get it published
Ellen Peirson-Hagger
The novelist and screenwriter discusses science fiction, the human soul and working with Steve McQueen on the BBC’s Small Axe series. Courttia Newland was in his mid-twenties when he had his first out-of-body experience. Following the publication of his debut novel, The Scholar (1997), he...
16h42 13  janvier
Dominant in Scotland, Rangers may offer the happy ending Gerrard never had at Liverpool
Jonathan Liew
With 20 wins from 22 games, Gerrard has swept away the team’s culture of mediocrity. A couple of years ago, his own career at Liverpool long behind him, Steven Gerrard returned to Anfield as a spectator. It was the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, and Liverpool were 3-0 down to...
16h32 13  janvier
The mob may have been cleared from the US Capitol but the violence is likely to continue
Emily Tamkin
The party of Trump is angry, and their rage will only intensify in the build-up to Joe Biden’s inauguration. On Wednesday 6 January, the day Congress held its ceremonial counting of the electoral college votes, a violent group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building. They had come to...
16h26 13  janvier
Commons Confidential: Shy bairns get no sweets
Kevin Maguire
Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster. The Welshman who Joe Biden once hailed as his greatest speech writer is to celebrate the 46th US president’s inauguration at home with a cup of tea and slice of his daughter’s banana cake. Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock quipped that...
16h20 13  janvier
How the exurbs helped decide the US 2020 election
Richard Seymour
Joe Biden’s gains in low-density, semi-rural residential communities is a story of spatial realignment, and also of political realignment among classes, ethnicities and religions. Among the surprises of the 2020 US presidential election was its unusual geography. Donald Trump, though defeated,...
16h17 13  janvier
It’s Joe Biden’s job to put a stop to American carnage - and this is what he should say on 20 January
Philip Collins
The task of the president-elect’s inauguration speech is, as Lincoln said in 1865, to bind up the nation’s wounds . The early drafts of John F Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, written by Ted Sorensen, bear the scribbles of the president himself. Read the other presidential inaugurals, ...
16h04 13  janvier
Donald Trump becomes first US president to be impeached twice
Emily Tamkin
The conviction of Trump would require Republican Senators to decide that they’re no longer afraid of his supporters. President Donald Trump made history on Wednesday, becoming the only US president to be impeached twice after the House of Representatives voted 232-197 in favour. If this...
15h39 13  janvier
Mark Damazer’s diary: Why Springsteen is still the Boss, talking Booker and my struggles with Covid
Mark Damazer
Since catching coronavirus, any food that doesn’t taste of sawdust or disgustingly bitter has become a great luxury. I have never been much smitten reading the electoral views of music stars or business sages. The little vignettes are largely guff - and not to be confused with the insights of...
15h24 13  janvier
Leader: The Big Tech reckoning
New Statesman
Twitter and Facebook’s action against Donald Trump shows why the tech giants should no longer enjoy the privileges of being publishers without the responsibilities. After Donald Trump lost the US presidency last year, he retained the consolation prize of his Twitter account. Commentators...
14h57 13  janvier
Appreciation: Colin Bell
Michael Henderson
Dubbed Nijinsky, after the champion racehorse, by Manchester City team-mates and fans, the unparalleled footballer was a modest man with an immodest gift. Nijinsky they dubbed him at Manchester City, after the champion racehorse, although his team-mates might also have been nodding towards...
14h42 13  janvier
As life expectancy falls, we watch the one true miracle of the modern world slipping away from us
Louise Perry
We have experienced a tiny taste of the kind of mortality that was once inevitable. It’s rare for historical trends to follow a straightforward narrative of progress, but life expectancy was, until recently, one of the few exceptions. In England and Wales in 1841, life expectancy was 40.2 for...
14h38 13  janvier
Personal Story: On the Covid front line
Anonymous
As a junior doctor walking into the intensive care unit for the first time, I saw a ward lined with unconscious patients attached to ventilators, and the gravity of the pandemic suddenly hit me. On the morning of Friday 13 March, I opened an email from my university, ordering me to take the...
14h25 13  janvier
Why Trump isn’t a fascist
Richard J Evans
The storming of the Capitol on 6 January was not a coup. But American democracy is still in danger. A number of prominent commentators, including the historians Timothy Snyder and Sarah Churchwell, the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and the Berkeley public policy professor...
14h13 13  janvier
Fighting Covid-19 is an exercise in delayed gratification - a truth that Boris Johnson has failed to grasp
Stephen Bush
At every stage the Prime Minister has acted too late, and now hospitals are bearing the consequences. Battling the coronavirus pandemic is ultimately a test of a state’s capacity for delayed gratification: the actions you take now will only begin to have an effect in a couple of weeks’ time....
13h22 13  janvier
What we learned from the first PMQs of the year
Ailbhe Rea
Keir Starmer has called for a tougher lockdown, and five other things we learned at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions 1. Keir Starmer has called for a tougher lockdown Much ridiculed by the Prime Minister for being Captain Hindsight , and even considered by some in his party to be...
13h22 13  janvier
Why food parcels are the wrong way to feed hungry children
Stephen Bush
There is no case for food parcels instead of cash as an effective means of lifting people out of poverty. Who’s to blame for the meagre state of England’s food parcels? Pictures of inadequate parcels containing bruised bananas, half-portions of peppers wrapped in cling film and tiny portions...
13h08 13  janvier
Pieces of a Woman is an uneven study of parental grief
Ryan Gilbey
In this story of a home birth gone wrong, director Kornél Mundruczó and screenwriter Kata Wéber reach for effects without quite knowing how to achieve them. Extended cinematic takes of the kind popularised recently by 1917, Birdman and Victoria place the burden on a director and...
12h02 13  janvier
American civil war
Gary Younge
The coming struggle against Trump and Trumpism. In the early hours of Wednesday 6 January, Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church - Martin Luther King’s former congregation - was elected as one of two senators for Georgia. It was the first time a Democrat had...
08h55 13  janvier
On Drunk Tank Pink, south London post-punk group Shame come back down to earth
Ellen Peirson-Hagger
Drunk Tank Pink is, in many ways, a typical second rock album in that it reflects on the madness caused by the first. You’ve got to wonder where Shame find the energy. From the opening bars of Alphabet , where Charlie Forbes’s pummelling drums reintroduce a furious urgency, to album closer ...
07h46 13  janvier
With Germany’s political future in the balance, centrist Merkel voters will be crucial
Jeremy Cliffe
Angela Merkel’s incremental progressivism drew strong support from women and migrants. Can her successor retain them? A big year looms in German politics. Angela Merkel is stepping down after 16 years as chancellor. On 16 January her Christian Democrat Union (CDU) will pick a new leader. Then,...
07h40 13  janvier
Letter of the week: Much-needed good news
New Statesman
A selection of the best letters received from our readers this week. Email letters newstatesman.co.uk to have your thoughts voiced in the New Statesman magazine. At 79, I calculate I was the 7,600,001st person in the vaccine queue after NHS staff, care workers and the more than 3 million over...
18h35 12  janvier
From the NS archive: The wound and the bow
Malcolm Bradbury
27 October 1978: On the precariousness of friendship between writers. In this 1978 piece, the author and academic Malcolm Bradbury considered two recent publications - Scott and Ernest by Matthew J Bruccoli (Bodley Head) and Ernest Hemingway and His World by Anthony Burgess (Thames &...
17h53 12  janvier
The mission to map the world’s ocean floors
Amy Borrett
Seabeds hold the key to our understanding of climate change, but remain largely undocumented. The ocean covers 71 per cent of the earth’s surface, but it is still something we know relatively little about. An oft-cited statistic in ocean science is that over 80 per cent of the ocean floor, an...
17h35 12  janvier
How widespread is the British variant of Covid-19 in Europe?
Ido Vock
Officials believe they are locked in a race against time to ramp up vaccination capacity while limiting the spread of the new variant as much as possible. The new UK variant of the coronavirus, estimated to be around 60 per cent more transmissible than previous forms of the virus, has spread...
16h58 12  janvier
It has always been easy for social media firms to pull the plug on extremism
Sarah Manavis
Why have the tech giants waited until now to curb the promotion of ideas that lead to violence? On 6 January, as the world watched rioters break into the US Capitol building brandishing guns, knives, and zip ties, social media companies began to panic. The attack had been planned, organised,...
16h22 12  janvier
The UK has the highest current Covid-19 death rate of any major country
Michael Goodier
When compared to the rest of the G20, the UK’s current daily average of 933 deaths is the worst. The UK is, by most measures, faring worse than other countries in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, with one of the highest total and current death rates in the world. More than 80,000 people have...
15h53 12  janvier
Free school meal scandal: Why the government is failing to feed people during the pandemic
Anoosh Chakelian
A private caterer has admitted falling short as photos circulate on social media of woeful meal provision for poorer pupils. Two potatoes, one tin of baked beans, eight single cheese slices, two carrots, three apples, two bananas, one small bag of penne, one tomato, three Frubes, two...
15h37 12  janvier
From the NS archive: Scouse
Anonymous
1 July 1963: The brutal reality of Liverpool in the early 1960s. In this report from Liverpool from 1963, John Morgan found himself bewildered by the city. He found a mixture of poverty, violence, sectarianism and occasionally nihilism that was unlike anywhere else in the country. The new ...